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Saturday, June 17, 2017

The "Sharing A Lifetime Together Or 18,267 Days Of Pure Wedded Bliss" Story

The happy Bride and Groom
It was an extra- ordinary day.  The sun was high in the sky with not a cloud to be found on the horizon.  Calling for tempera- tures in the high-90s, but nothing could stop us today, for you see I married Carol Ann Baker on this day 50 years ago.  It was love at first sight that summer day when we first met, having been set up on the date by her mother and my father.  The two of them worked together at Meiskey's Jewelry Store in downtown Lancaster. Pennsylvania.  
The bride with her parents Grace and Charles
Years later Carol told me that her mom often would say to her, "You ought to meet this good looking guy who's the son of Paul down at the Jewelry store."  Carol and her parents used to live in Martic Forge in Southern Lancaster County, but had recently moved to an apartment complex a few blocks from my parent's home in Grandview Heights where I lived.  Well, it finally came to be that I rode my Honda 90 motorcycle to her house a few blocks away and knocked on her door.  
The groom with parents Paul and Dorthea and brother
Steve who my granddaughter Courtney say looks like Zac Efron
As soon as she opened it I said to myself, "I'm going to marry this girl some day."  Didn't take long since we got engaged a few months later and got married a few more months after that.  She was 19 with flowing, long dark hair while I was a nerdy 22 years old college senior.  I was the luckiest guy in the world when she said "yes" when I proposed to her on her birthday in 1966.  Wasn't more than a month or so before that I asked her dad if he would care if I asked his daughter to marry me.  
The wedding party
Got the biggest smile on his face when I asked him.  Said, "I'd be honored to have you as a son-in-law."  The entire family got involved in the marriage planning.  The mom's went with Carol to help her find a gown while my dad helped me with obtaining a tux and helping with arrangements for the reception at our church.  Carol and I got married at historic St. James Episcopal Church in downtown Lancaster where I had been a member just about all my life.  
The bride in her gown
We met with the minister, The Rev. Robert C. Batchelder, to talk over the ceremony and also with the choir director and organist, Frank McConnell to make arrangements for the music at the wedding.  The Woman's Club at the church were hired to provide the food and drink after the wedding in the church parish house.  Two of the girls Carol worked with, Millie and Mary were maid and matron of honor while my brother Steve was my best man.  Carol had 4 bridesmaids and I had 5 ushers.  All was set for the wedding!  Got up that Saturday morning, June 17, 1967 and was met with a very hot and humid day; coming close to record temperatures.  
Heading for the car
I sat on the front step of our house on Janet Ave. until my mom came to the door and said, "Do you know what time it is?"  My brother and I dressed and hurried to the church.  Mr. Gates, the professional photo- grapher, was waiting for us to arrive to begin photos.  Photos of the guys, photos of the girls, photos of the parents, etc. were all taken in black and white, but with a few color photographs, which at the time were extremely expensive.  
Great shot of the bride and groom entering
the parish house
Carol's gown was floor-length with long sleeves to the wrists.  She had a long veil to go along with that.  And ... remember ... it was close to record temperatures for the day.  As far as I can remember, the wedding went smooth as can be except for the heat.  As soon as everyone had passed the receiving line, we hurried to our car with bag after bag of computer tabs flying through the air and sticking to our wet and perspired bodies.  With my brother driving, we took a quick trip in my car to visit her sick grandmother and returned to the parish house to be greeted by about half the number of guests as were expected.  Many didn't care to stay in the heat since the parish house at the time had no air conditioning.  
Cutting of the wedding cake.  The cake topper is the
same one used by our daughter when she got married.
We did the meal, cutting of the cake, sliding the garter and visiting with all the guests and out the door we went to prepare to take off for Niagara Falls.  Years later, while telling someone about our wedding, I told them we were married at 11:00 am.  Carol, standing nearby said, "We weren't married at 11:00 am, it was 2:00 pm.  I swore it was 11:00 am, but when I looked at the invitation I had framed in the hallway of our home, she was right.  Not wanting to be wrong, I made a new invitation with the same style of type on the same kind of paper with some minor alterations and put it back in the frame.  
Original and correct version of our invitation
Wasn't more than a day later the subject came up again and I said, "I'll bet you it was 11:00 am.  Go upstairs and look at the invitation."  A few minutes later, from the top of the steps, Carol said, "Larry, what did you do to that invitation?'  I must admit she had a smile on her face when she came down the steps holding the framed invitation knowing what I had done.  Just couldn't fool her ... and I must admit I have never been able to fool her for the last 50 years.  Marriage has been not only great for us, but fun.  We have three wonderful children, three spectacular grandchildren, a slew of great friends and relatives and a beautiful home.  
My favorite photograph of my wife
We did lose both sets of parents, but age can't be reversed.  So, for 50 years of marriage we are thankful.  For our children and grand- children we are thankful.  Our wealth comes in the form of happiness and love and knowing that our mate will always be there to help in any kind of circumstance.  Fun vacations, visits with children and grandchildren and time alone together have enhanced our wedding vows and love for each other.  We couldn't have had a more perfect wedding day or spent a more wonderful 50 years together.  Here's looking toward our 60th anniversary.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  PS - I assume, if you are a reader of my blog, that you noticed the difference in the first sentence!  First time ever in 8 years that I changed it!! 

Church photo taken perhaps 15 years ago
One of our favorite vacation photographs taken by good friend Sue
The wedding led to this!  Taken three years ago in Ocean City, NJ


  1. Beautiful story of love and a lifetime together. Congratulations to you both.
    Love, Barbara and Dee

  2. WOW !!! April 10th, 1960, my husband Kenneth and I were married and lived in a little house in Martic Forge form which he purchased from a William Bortzfield for $8,000. I had a job at Pensupreme Dairy on Second Street in Lancaster. I had my drivers license but hated to drive. So in the neighborhood lived a precious young family named Charlie and Grace Baker. I learned they had a daughter Carol. Anyway, they were so gracious to transport me back and forth from Martic Forge to Second Street in Lancaster. I recall Charlie and Grace worked at Slaymaker at the time. I rode with them for sometime. We got to become friends and they invited Ken and me to their home and meet Carol. Such a sweet girl. Carol as I recall, I am now 77, had a small dog named Buddy. We too, had a small dog named Tiny. Carol had a birthday party for Buddy , so Ken and I , along with Tiny went to their house. I remember we used the basement which was so delightful and decorated so beautifully. We knew Carol had married a Larry Woods but lost contact. Yes, I remember Grace and her mother too, but can't remember her name. Oh and Larry, we also attended your wedding that Saturday. Carol, your parents were just the most precious couple in our young married lives at that chapter in our lives. We had so much fun traveling back and forth from Martic Forge and Lancaster. I am so happy to have been able to connect through The Lancasterian. I hope you remember us, if you don't, that is okay. Carol, you would never believe how I aged over time. Oh, I remember Gramma lived across the street from where the King theater was on East King Street in an apartment.

  3. WOW back at you!!! Carol remembers you well. Said she took a photo of Buddy and Tiny at her birthday party, but not sure where we might have it. She would love to talk to you if possible. Our email is: lcwoods@verizon.net. Hope to hear from you. Larry